If you have an above-ground pool, odds are you aren’t going to be using it over the winter. When the summer starts to wind down, and the pool is getting used less and less, it can be difficult to remember to maintain it and keep it clean. That’s why winterizing your above-ground pool is highly recommended.
By winterizing an above-ground swimming pool, you can keep it clean and sanitized, even when it isn’t in use. The below steps will help you keep your pool water in good condition until it is ready to be used the next summer. Even if you live in a place with below-freezing temperatures, as a pool owner, you can keep your pool safe and secure when the snow starts to fall.
Why Winterize Your Above-Ground Pool?
The worst thing you can do with your pool water is to leave it unattended for long periods. Algae and other debris can start to grow in the water, which can make it incredibly dangerous. This debris and bacteria can make people sick and contribute to the growth of algae when the next pool season comes around, and people want to swim again.
Winterizing your pool consists of procedures that will get it ready to go through a long period of disuse. It will also help protect the components like the pool pump and filter and keep them from getting damaged by freezing temperatures. By going through these steps, you can make sure that your clean pool is ready to go as soon as the weather starts to get warm again.
A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Winterize Your Pool
Step 1: Clean It One Last Time
The first thing you will want to do when winterizing your pool is clean it one last time. It means thoroughly skimming the water and scrubbing the pool floor bottom membrane and walls to ensure that all debris and bacteria are cleared out. This will make sure that there is nothing on the pool liner or surface that can feed any toxic algae that might try to bloom over the winter. You should also lower the water level in the pool by three to six inches so the water is further away from the surface.
Step 2: Test and Adjust the pH
The pH and alkalinity levels of your pool are some of the most important things when it comes to keeping it clean after closing time. Generally, the pH of your pool should be somewhere in the 7.2 and 7.6 range. It is the recommended level when it is getting regular use, like in the spring or summertime.
However, during the winter, you will want to adjust the pH to make it higher. 7.6 to 7.8 is the recommended level when winterizing. It is because water that has stagnated will lower the pH over an extended period. Keeping the pH higher will allow it to lower to its perfect level throughout the winter.
Step 3: Use a Winter Closing Kit
There are all kinds of different chemical levels that you should be considering when winterizing your pool. The calcium hardness, alkalinity, and chlorine level need to be different when it sits for a long time. However, if you don’t want to spend so much time mixing different chemicals, you can opt for a winter closing kit.
Winter closing kits will contain all the pool chemicals you need to close out your pool for the winter and start the winterizing process. Some of them don’t even require you to run the pool filter as you are adding them. It makes everything so much easier, and you can rest easy knowing your chemical levels are correct and that your pool will be safe, and that algae growth will be curbed.
Step 4: Clear Out and Store all Hoses and Tanks
Your above-ground pool has return lines, filter hoses, and pool accessories that can freeze over during the winter. It can crack or damage them, so make sure they are safe while not in use. Disconnect all the lines and hoses and empty them completely. It includes the skimmer if you have one that roves around the pool. Make certain they are fully drained and dried, and then store them away somewhere they will be safe and warm, like your garage or storage closet. It will ensure that they will be intact when you go to use them in the summer.
You should also drain the pump and filter of any excess water and cover them if they are a separate unit. Just like with the hoses, this will ensure that the excess water doesn’t freeze over and crack any of the housings or fittings in the pump and filter. Keeping these components warm will keep them safe throughout the cold weather.
Step 5: Cover the Pool
Before you cover up the pool for the winter, it is a good idea to place an air pillow in the water. Pool pillows are inflatable pillows that float in the middle of the water and keep the pressure of the winter cover off the water when snow falls. This air pillow will protect the winter pool cover itself as well as the pool wall. After placing the pool pillow, apply the pool cover over the air pillow and duct tape on the sides to make sure that no snow or debris gets in over the winter.
Protect Your Pool Until the Next Summer
Making sure that your pool is protected all winter long is one of the best ways to promote longevity and keep it in good condition for years to come. By taking some of the proper steps before it gets cold, you can save yourself some worry and money on repairs when the time comes to start using the pool again.
Do you have a technique for winterizing your pool that you swear by? Let us know about it in the comment section below!